Client wants to set my hourly rate.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by echeandia, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    I met with a prospect the other day. It is a commercial property. They told me they want the weeds cleared out of their planting beds and biweekly maintenance. The weeds are pretty bad so I figure I will till everything and use a hoe and pick up the weeds during the biweekly visits. I prepare a proposal that says I'll do the tilling for $350 and the maintenance for $65 per visit.

    I go back to the prospect to drop off the proposal and the owner says to the office manager "How long did it take so-and-so do clean up the weeds last year?" The manager says "About an hour." So, the owner doesn't think she should pay $65 an hour for someone to do weed removal. The owner starts to ask me if I would lower my price but I break in and tell her, "Think about it and let me know when you want me to do the work." I don't expect to hear back from her. I love how she wanted to determine how much I make an hour.
  2. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    You did good.. Stick to your prices..
  3. Itzkcatz

    Itzkcatz LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 193

    People need to realize that do this for aliving,
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Run away from this one real fast, will cause you nothing but problems. Some folks just don't get it and I tired long ago trying to explain we ain't some bum with a rake, hoe and push mower in the trunk of a 77 station wagon. They just don't have a clue what it cost to do this and it ain't none of their biz what we make an hour or how we figure it. When they ask me how long it will take after giving a price I tell them I figure by the job not the hour. Take it or leave it.
  5. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    This is typical of commercial sites. Their budget is determined in 4qtr of the previous year for the coming year. If you bid is lower than that line item you get the job. If your bid is higher than the line item, you may be given the privelege to work the job at their budget numbers or they just continue to go down the phone book until they find some one hungry enough to take the job on their terms.

    Some commercial site reverse bid their job. They will call a group of services in for a prelim. At the prelim they will actually show how much is budgetted for the year. It is up to you to figure how much below the budget you are willing to do it for. The company that is willing to bleed the most gets the job.

    It's nothing personal, it's just how business is done on true commercial sites. We have trained them that way.

    Ethical; no way. Legal, no question about it.
  6. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    What is unethical about it?

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    I did a large mulch job for my dentist a couple of years ago (70) yards. When I gave him the bid he asked me how much of that was in materials and how long it would take in labor. I returned with a question how much material was in that $900 crown you gave me last month that only took 1.5 hrs. Enough said he cut the check.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    show me your Ballance sheet and I'll show you mine
  9. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Just like you are running a business so is she. I doubt in there budget they have a $65 an hour budget for weed removal. Its just weeds nothing fancy they will find someone to do it for half the price if not cheaper... or they will pay a custodian $10 an hour to go put weed killer down

    You try your hardest to keep your costs down as do the businesses we do work for so keep that in mind
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,381

    Commericial properties have a pretty good idea on what things cost unlike homeowners. Cleaning up a bed and putting down pre-m would have taken care of that bed for 6 months. Flowers at commericial properties is something we never make money on just an annoying thing to keep the money rolling in from the other stuff. But if the flowers look bad they generally will fire you.

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